I love Waxahatchee. In fact, there is little that Allison or Katie Crutchfield can do wrong in my eyes, whether in PS Eliot, Swearin’ or their respective solo careers. Though the recent Allison Crutchfield solo record was a buffed and poppy effort – an interesting diversion from her early lo-fidelity – Katie’s Waxahatchee project is, as ever, down-at-heel, scuzzy and scrappy American indie rock.
Each of the tracks here could just as easily have been featured on the album’s remarkable predecessors Cerulean Salt and Ivy Tripp. Silver is pure closing credits pop rock. Album opener Never Been Wrong fizzes with disdain; the lyrics laying bare the breakdown of a fractured and combative relationship as the guitars thud resolutely behind. The entire record, rooted in this breakdown, is similarly upfront, with reflections on everything from the resentment (“You love being right/ You’ve never been wrong”) and sad phone calls (“I called last night/ you felt so far away”) to the unused to freedoms that one is, for better or worse, afforded (“I’ll say whatever I want/ Stay in the bar ‘till the sun comes up”).
All the better for the fact that it reflects these unfortunate nuances rather than dishing out the heavy-handed Goodbye-And-Good-Riddance that people may expect from a breakup, Out in the Storm is essential listening for anyone experiencing these upheavals, and a brilliant record for anyone else.